Saturday, May 5, 2007

Whiplash warning - ABC News backpedals on DC Madam story

If you watched last night's episode of 20/20 on ABC hoping to get a bit more perspective and info on the DC Madam case, you are probably as disappointed as I am. ABC has completely backpedaled on it's original claims that Bush Administration officials are on the list of clients of Palfrey and the tone of the piece was low-key when compared to the info that has already leaked out.

Last week, 20/20 reporter Brian Ross stated, "there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers — a long, long list." and "There are several thousands names, tens of thousands of phone numbers and they range from administration officials to lobbyists to advisers who are well known, people who appear on television, lawyers, and then just a lot of sort of ordinary businessmen and CEOs.
However, during last night's report Ross stated, "As usually is the case in Washington, much of it is dull. There are no members of Congress we can find in these phone numbers, no White House officials. Quite frankly, but for the few exceptions, most of the men on this list just aren't newsworthy." The 180 degree turnaround on this one is pretty stunning. I'm surprised that Ross wasn't forced to do the story in a neck brace. Backpedalling that fast can give a man whiplash.

Hardly anyone worth reporting? Let's look at who has been exposed in this scandal already:

The "AIDS Czar" and Deputy Secretary of State, Randal Tobias, has already resigned his position at the State Department because of his admitted use of the escort agency. Tobias reported directly to Secretary of State Rice.

An instructor at the US Naval Academy has been implemented in her work for Palfrey as a prostitute.

Dr. Harlan Ullman, the architect for the US "Shock and Awe" campaign at the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq has been identified as one of her customers.

Grover Norquist, one of the key players in the so-called "Gang of Five" who are at the forefront of the current conservative movement in America. Norquist is one of the top leaders of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, currently the President of anti-tax lobbying group Americans for Tax Reform.

I just listed three administration officials and this is only the shortlist that has been announced so far. Yet Brian Ross and ABC are now brushing this aside as though it were not worthy of reporting. Then again, the mainstream media brushed aside the Jeff Gannon scandal as though it were nothing more than a schoolboy prank. What should we expect from them?

What do you think?

No comments: